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Retirement Plans Newsletter

March 3, 2010

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DATAIR’s Wintertime sale through March 15.
  • License one DATAIR system and get 20% off.
  • Get a second system for half price.
  • Free financing.
401(k), Pension and Cafeteria software for Administration, Documents, and 5500 systems and more. Contact the Sales Department for more information about the rules and restrictions for the sale at or 1-888-328-2474.

[Guidance Overview]
DOL Reproposes Investment Advice Regulation (PDF)
Excerpt: "In enumerating the details of the computer model advice program, DOL added in the proposal that the model may not '[i]nappropriately distinguish among investment options within a single asset class on the basis of a factor that cannot confidently be expected to persist in the future.' That limitation is intended specifically to exclude consideration of historic rates of return of particular investment products. The preamble to the proposal invites commentary on the utility of historic rates of return, and raises a number of other provocative questions about 'generally accepted investment theory' and practices. Comment: In this respect, DOL appears to be at least entertaining a departure from its historic approach to regulation under ERISA."

[Guidance Overview]
DOL Releases New Proposed Investment Advice Regulation
Target page contains link to 3-page overview.
(Groom Law Group)

[Guidance Overview]
Relief and Other Guidance on Reporting Foreign Financial Accounts (FBAR) Issued
Excerpt: "The Proposed Regulations exempt participants and beneficiaries in qualified retirement plans (as well as owners and beneficiaries of IRAs) from the requirement to file an FBAR with respect to a foreign financial account held by or on behalf or the retirement plan (or IRA). The Retirement Plan (or IRA), however, is not exempt with respect to any foreign financial account in which it invests and therefore has a financial interest. . . . Attached to the Proposed Regulations are draft instructions to [the applicable government reporting form, which] specifically include within the governmental exemption from FBAR filing an employee retirement or welfare benefit plan of a governmental entity. "

[Guidance Overview]
Forcing Terminated ESOP Participants Out of Company Stock Did Not Violate ERISA
Excerpt: "Chief Judge Ralph R. Erickson said in his opinion that an employer offering a plan which provides terminating participants a single sum distribution in employer stock 'may modify the plan to provide the equivalent distribution in cash without violation of the anti-cutback provisions' of ERISA."

White Paper: A Guide to Retirement Plan Fees & Expenses (PDF)
13 pages. Excerpt: "In this paper, we will discuss retirement plan fees and expenses to assist plan sponsors in achieving a greater understanding of their plan operations. Generally, retirement plan fees can be classified into three main categories, but the associated services can apply to multiple categories. For the purposes of this paper, we will categorize the fees and then detail the specific functions typically related to each expense."
(Trucker Huss; Multnomah Group)

Proposed 401(k) Rules Could Cut Fees, Advice
Excerpt: "Government officials call proposed restrictions on retirement-plan advice a strike against unreasonable fees and a necessary protection for consumers. But detractors say the rules would limit investors' choices and potentially hurt thousands of financial firms."

Top Ten Things to Do If Your 401(k) Plan Fails Nondiscrimination Testing
March 2010 issue of TRI-AD's newsletter. Excerpt: "401(k) plan sponsors generally do not relish the annual call from their 401(k) consultant with their plan's nondiscrimination testing results. If your plan regularly passes testing, that's great news. However, if you are not so fortunate or your plan is on the cusp, there are steps you can take to greatly increase your plan's chances of success."

Target-Date Funds: Retirement Investments You Can Age With
Excerpt: "Target-date funds, sometimes called lifecycle funds, are gaining in popularity: About 70 percent of all employer-sponsored 401(k) plans offer them. But so far, only about 7 percent of all 401(k) assets are held in target-date funds."
(National Public Radio)

Pension Reduction Proposal to Appear on Upcoming San Francisco Ballot
Excerpt: "The measure would accomplish several things to draw down The City's skyrocketing pension costs, including increasing newly hired public safety workers' retirement contribution from 7.5 to 9 percent and changing the formula for pension payouts, also for those hired after July 1."
(San Francisco Examiner)

Federal Agencies Might Encourage Annuity Distributions from Defined Contribution Plans
Excerpt: "[Recent] take-up [of annuity options by participants] has been minimal, and for a number of reasons. Those include the often-confusing nature of the policies, their cost, difficulty of comparing products and concern that a policy holder might die soon after buying an annuity, and the more recent concern, buoyed by the AIG headlines, that insurance companies could fold, making any annuities worthless. "
(Human Resource Executive Online)

The ASPPA 401(k) Summit | March 14 – 16, 2010 | Orlando World Center Marriott Resort

The ASPPA 401(k) SUMMIT is bigger and better than ever in 2010! Expect 140 exciting exhibits in the hall, dozens of top-notch workshop sessions like "Plan Designs for the Age of Obama," and the presentation of the prestigious Morningstar-ASPPA 401(k) Advisor Leadership Award. The SUMMIT offers 14 hours of ASPPA Continuing Education (CE) credit and is designed to comply with various CE programs, including ERPA CPE.
For more information and to register, click here: The ASPPA 401(k) SUMMIT.

Sponsored by ASPPA

Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

The Federal Government's Long-Term Fiscal Outlook: January 2010 Update
14 pages. Excerpt: "Our long-term simulations show that absent policy changes the federal government faces an unsustainable growth in debt. Under our Alternative simulation, debt held by the public as a share of GDP could exceed the historical high reached in the aftermath of World War II by 2020 . . . 10 years sooner than our simulation showed just 2 years ago."
(U.S. Government Accountability Office)

Webcasts and Conferences

"401(k) Plan Workshop: Current Issues and New Developments" - San Francisco
in California on April 1, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"Form 5500/EFAST2 Workshop - Portland
in Oregon on March 31, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"Form 5500/EFAST2 Workshop" - Houston
in Texas on April 1, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"Form 5500/EFAST2 Workshop" - New Orleans
in Louisiana on March 31, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"Form 5500/EFAST2 Workshop" - Salt Lake City
in Utah on April 1, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"Form 5500/EFAST2 Workshop: Preparing for EFAST2" - San Francisco
in California on March 31, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

AHIP Wellness 2010 - Virtual Symposium on Worksite Wellness
Nationwide on April 21, 2010
presented by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)

Cafeteria Plan Election Changes: A Seminar Based on Your Scenarios!
Nationwide on April 1, 2010
presented by EBIA / Thomson Reuters

DOL Issues Investment Advice
Nationwide on March 10, 2010
presented by Convergent Retirement Plan Solutions, LLC

Press Releases

PBGC Moves to Protect Pensions at New United Motor Manufacturing
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

ABG Carolinas Unveils New Low Cost 401(k) Program
Alliance Benefit Group Carolinas, LLC

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